Keith’s electromagnetic (EM) design techniques have been well-proven for 25 years to achieve excellent and cost-effective signal integrity (SI), power integrity (PI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), even on the first prototype, see www.emcstandards.co.uk/testimonials.  He will be teaching these techniques in Melbourne (25th to 29th of November, 2019) and Sydney (18th to 22nd of November, 2019) Australia. See the plan below for further details.

10% DISCOUNT if booked before 30th September

Get your place reserved now! 2019 Registration form and details here


* Presented by Shabbir Ahmed & Chris Zombolas, Managing Director, EMC Technologies.


De-risking a project’s EMC is generally considered impossible – but it is easy and straightforward to do by using Keith’s course notes as checklists from the start.

Relying on laboratory testing to discover how good an EMC design is, and what changes are needed before retesting, then perhaps having to go around the whole loop again, and again, is an old-fashioned approach that guarantees uncontrollable delays with their attendant project and financial risks. The only people who benefit from this are the EMC test labs!

Integrated circuits and opamps have been die-shrunk every two years since their first invention in the 1970s, with the result that they now all emit or are susceptible to microwave frequencies or higher, and they are all getting worse every two years on average. Switching power devices are about to become at least ten times faster, creating much more noise in television and LTE frequency bands.

For all these reasons, all new electronic designs must now use good EM techniques right from the start if they are to stand a good chance of achieving low overall cost of manufacture whilst meeting market windows and repaying their investments quickly.

We don’t do EMC for regulatory reasons, we do it because if we don’t our products are unreliable and/or cause problems in real life, causing huge warranty costs and reducing future sales. Good EMC design for real profits and future sales reduces regulatory compliance to an admin task.

These courses describe how to achieve all this good stuff, using only plain English and simple calculations to describe practical details that can be put to work the day after the course.

The Physics Behind the 2019 Good EM Design Techniques (no maths!) – Half day

Explains how electromagnetic propagation – the basis of all signals, controls, data and power (even 50Hz) – really works, and what this means for SI, PI and EMC design.

No maths!
Well, OK, just a little bit that goes no further than the square root function on your calculator.

The knowledge in this course allows any EMC problems from nanovolts and picoamps to Gigawatts, to be understood, visualised, and solved quickly and/or cost-effectively (sometimes both at the same time). 

It underpins the good design techniques described in the other four days of courses; and provides a method for quickly and easily adapting them to any emissions or immunity standards – even the toughest military specifications – proven to work from DC to 24GHz.

RCM approvals-Australia/NZ Including Cellular & IoT Devices

In recent years there has been a rapid proliferation of wireless communications devices, especially for the Internet of Things (IoT). As their rollout continues to accelerate, the complexity of regulatory approvals such as RCM is increasing.

Using IoT devices that include wireless and cellular communications (e.g. LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT) for control and monitoring of everything from factories to farms means that regulatory compliance will involve compliance with ACMA regulations for EMC, Telecommunications, Radiocommunications, Electromagnetic Radiation/SAR and Electrical Safety (both ACMA and ERAC). 

Whether you are a supplier or developer of IoT devices, this seminar will cover everything you need to know about RCM compliance of IoT devices including how to choose and integrate wireless modules to ensure the quickest and cheapest route to market with minimal (if any) compliance testing.

Presented by:

Shabbir Ahmed, PhD, Lead RF and Wireless Engineer, EMC Technologies.

Chris Zombolas, Managing Director of EMC Technologies, Australia’s largest, most experience and most accredited Test House.

Good EM Design Techniques in 2019 (PCB design covered separately) – Two days

Covers circuit design; choice of components; heatsinking, and cable design that minimises the need for costly filtering and shielding.

Filtering and shielding can easily make emissions and immunity worse, so this course describes how to deal with the ever-higher noise frequencies whilst avoiding such pitfalls.

ESD and transient suppression can easily be both costly and ineffective, so these good design techniques are very necessary. In particular, because ICs are continually being die-shrunk, ESD suppression techniques are having to change rapidly to prevent warranty costs from spiralling out of control, so the ESD section is significantly different from the versions that Keith taught in 2018.

Essential PCB Design Techniques for good SI, PI and EMC in 2019 – One day

The most cost-effective way to deal with SI, PI and EMC issues is by having our own ICs designed and made! When we don’t have that kind of budget, the next most cost-effective way is good PCB design (which is also a lot quicker than IC design).

This course covers the essential techniques that must now be taken into account in all new PCB designs – for your company to remain competitive. Because ICs are continually being die-shrunk (Google: Moore’s Law) and products are continually packing more power and processing into ever-smaller packages, these techniques change every year: so this course is significantly different from the versions Keith taught in 2018.

Advanced PCB Design Techniques for good SI, PI and EMC in 2019 – One day

Some people will find the “Essential PCB…” course to be quite advanced compared with what they are doing at the moment. This advanced course follows on from the “Essential” course and is never taught stand-alone, only as the 2nd day of a 2-day course.

If you are using data rates of over 1Gb/sec; or want to avoid having to use shielded enclosures; or want to co-locate antennas for GPS, cellphones, WiFi, or Bluetooth – especially whilst achieving the shortest development times and costs, you will need this course.

For the same reasons as already described, this course is significantly different from the versions Keith taught in 2018.

The detailed lists of contents for these courses:

The Physics Behind the 2019 Good EM Design Techniques (no maths!) – Half day

  • Electromagnetic fields, waves, & importance of the return current path
  • Field theory, permittivity, permeability, wave impedance and velocity
  • Near-field and Far-field
  • Three types of analysis (includes Skin Effect)
  • Waveforms, spectra, and ‘accidental antennas’
  • Three parts to every EMC issue, and four types of EM coupling
  • Differential mode (DM) and common mode (CM)
  • The benefits of metal planes
  • Overview of RF emissions
  • Safety ‘earthing’, ‘grounding’, etc., does not help
  • Non-linearity, demodulation and intermodulation
  • Three interference mechanisms
  • Overview of RF immunity
  • ‘Internal EMC’ and crosstalk
  • Improving profitability while reducing financial risks
  • Introduction to EM Engineering
  • Controlling return currents with metal planes
  • EM Zoning using guidelines based on the wavelength, l, at fMAX
    Including adapting the design guidelines to any emissions or immunity standards
  • Some useful references and (simple!) equations

Good EM Design Techniques in 2019 (not PCB) – Two days

Circuit design for good SI, PI and EMC in 2019

  • Digital circuits
  • Rise/fall times and emissions spectra
  • Numerous digital circuit design techniques
  • Watchdogs and brownout monitors
  • Data scrambling and spread-spectrum clocking
  • Analogue circuits
  • Linearity, bandwidth and stability of feedback circuits
  • Numerous analogue circuit design techniques, using hysteresis in comparators
  • Switching power converters
  • “EMC benign” and spread-spectrum techniques
  • Reducing dV/dt and dI/dt with snubbers
  • Heatsinks
  • Use SiC Schottky or soft-switching rectifiers; SiC or GaN switching devices
  • The isolating transformer’s interwinding capacitance
  • Don’t over-use galvanic isolation!
  • Communications circuits
  • Better alternatives to copper cabling
  • How to use copper cabling
  • Common-mode noise reduction techniques
  • Optoisolators and optocouplers
  • Gigabit laser diodes
  • Terminating transmission lines
  • Some useful references

Component selection for SI, PI and EMC in 2019

  • 1      Active devices
  • 2      Passive components
  • 3      Problems with second sources, counterfeits, and controlling purchasing
  • 4      Some useful references

EMC techniques for heatsinks in 2019

  • Importance of controlling stray heatsink currents
  • Ceramic and plastic heatsinks have no stray currents
  • Returning stray heatsink currents to their sources
  • Using the PCB’s Reference Plane as a heatsink
  • Practical RF-bonding issues
  • Heat sink RF resonances
  • Resonance effects of heat sink shapes, fins, pins, and semiconductor’s locations
  • Heat pipes
  • Some techniques that could be useful
  • Low-inductance bonding to control resonances to GHz
  • Combining shielding with heatsinking
  • Some useful references

Interconnections for good SI, PI and EMC in 2019

  • Accidental antenna behaviour of all conductors
  • Use fibre optics or alternatives, instead of conductors
  • The “RF Reference”
  • Cable classification and segregation
  • Good practices for both shielded and unshielded interconnections:
    controlling DM & CM return paths
  • Shielding techniques for cables
  • Terminating cable shields
  • Interconnecting shielded enclosures
  • Dealing with ‘ground loops’
  • Transmission-line interconnections
  • Some useful references 

Filtering in 2019

  • Filtering is not ‘black magic’
  • How filters work
  • The advantages of soft ferrites
  • CM filtering
  • Specifying filters
  • Real-life problems with resonances, inductors, and capacitors
  • Earth leakage currents and safety
  • Filter construction, mounting, and cabling
  • The synergy of filtering and shielding
  • Some useful references

Shielding in 2019

  • Economic issues for shielding
  • Shielding with metal plates (image planes)
  • How shielded enclosures work
  • DC and low frequency shielding
  • The problems caused by apertures
  • The problems caused by box resonances
  • The problems caused by conductor penetrations
  • Shields in the near field of a source
  • RF-bonding with multiple metal bonds or conductive gaskets
  • Wave-guides below cutoff
  • Shielding of displays
  • Shielding of ventilation
  • Shielding of plastic enclosures
  • Preventing corrosion at shielding joints
  • D-I-Y testing SE before hardware or software is ready
  • Some free SE calculators and useful references

Suppressing electrostatic discharge (ESD) in 2019

  • The ESD threats to ICs in 2019
  • Insulation techniques
  • Shielding techniques
  • Suppressing signal, data and power connector pins and conductors
  • PCB layout for ESD suppressors
  • Earth lift problems in systems
  • Protecting control, data and signals from errors
  • Some useful references, including some on  “software techniques for ESD suppression”

Suppressing surges/transients on AC & DC power supplies, signals and data in 2019

  • What transients are, and how they cause damage
  • Galvanic isolation for transient suppression
  • Transient suppression using filters
  • Types of surge protection component (SPC)
  • Rating SPCs
  • Protecting and maintaining SPCs
  • Lead inductance and “let-through” voltage
  • Avoiding the effects of SPC capacitance on signals
  • Types of surge protection devices (SPDs)
  • Electronic transient protection for DC power supplies
  • “Earth/ground lift” problems in systems
  • Data needs error correction
  • Dealing with long-duration over-voltages
  • Some useful references            

Essential PCB Design Techniques for good SI, PI and EMC in 2019 – One day

  • Saving time and money
  • Scope and application of these design techniques
  • EM Zoning (i.e. segregation)
  • Interface analysis, filtering, and suppression
  • 0V(GND) and power (PWR) planes
  • PCB-chassis RF-bonding
  • Power supply decoupling
  • Switching power converters (AC/DC, DC/DC, DC/AC)
  • Matched transmission line techniques
  • Layer stacking and trace routing
  • Devices with BGA packages and/or multiple DC rails
  • Some useful references, sources, and webinars

Advanced PCB Design Techniques for good SI, PI and EMC in 2019 – One day

  • When should we use advanced PCB techniques?
  • Future trends and their implications
  • Guidelines, approximations, simulations, and virtual design for SI, PI and EMC
  • Advanced segregation (zoning) techniques
  • Advanced interface filtering and suppression, including BLS (board-level shielding) to tens of GHz
  • Advanced PCB-chassis bonding
  • Advanced PCB planes
  • The totally shielded board assembly
  • Damping the resonances in parallel planes, plus :
    Virtual Ground Fences, Electromagnetic Band Gaps, High Impedance Surfaces
  • Advanced PCB decoupling
  • Buried components, especially buried capacitance decoupling
  • Traces crossing plane splits or changing layers
  • Advanced transmission lines, including differential signalling up to 32Gb/s per lane
  • Microvia (HDI) board manufacturing techniques
  • 3-D Moulded PCBs, and Additive Manufacturing
  • Advanced crosstalk
  • Some final tips and tricks
  • Some useful contacts, sources, and references
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